Yeah, but saying that encourages the gap. "The world needs ditch diggers too!"
We have lost any sense that America has a group goal, a reason we should help each other toward something. We gave up somewhere, or we lost hope on hitting goals and stopped picking up new ones. For a goal-oriented nation, that's a bad thing.
Various presidents have tried to come up with replacements goals, but they've been crap. Some of this was because the replacement goals were images of the previous goals without the same need.
The last Giant Honkin' Goal, "stop communism" (stupid as that was, it ran several giant economies of production), ended when the Soviet Union unceremoniously ran out of funding for the Warsaw Pact. Gorbachev told Poland's General Jaruzelski that he was not going to fund any martial action, so Jaruzelski said the equivalent of "I'm done with being dictator, the Pope's right, and price controls can be someone else's problem."
We "won", right? Unfortunately it freaked out Bush the Elder, who was president when the Berlin Wall fell in the fall of '89. He'd been a director of the CIA. He had spent his entire life preparing to be the fusion of Yale elite and Cold War insider. Suddenly there was no Cold War and he was left with blue balls -- oh, and a recession.
GHWB (Bush the Elder) tried his hand at making up a war in Kuwait. That worked in that it cheered up a lot of Americans -- it finally cleared up the stink from losing Vietnam, something that even the prosperity of the 1980s couldn't do. Then the war ended but the economy was still sagging.
The War on Terror? another attempt at a replacement for the Cold War. This has lasted longer, but it's clear that the only propaganda war we've come close to winning in a long time has been the War on Cancer.
Let's see if I can tie my tangents back in. We waste time focusing on how much better off we are than economies that have never come close to ours (or whom we've bombed one too many times into their present states). That's like an alcoholic saying "yeah, but I hold down my job. I'm not a smackhead or a crackhead. Rehab is for losers."
We're one of the top economies in the world. Shame is clearly not enough to get us to stop screwing more and more people into poverty. We need to give business a financial incentive for fighting the split it has been encouraging.